Globalization and Gender Wage Inequality in China

Zhihong Chen, Ying Ge, Huiwen Lai, Chi Wan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This paper uses an enterprise-population-level dataset to investigate the link between globalization and gender inequality in the Chinese labor market. We find that foreign and exporting firms employ more female workers than domestic nonexporters. Foreign participation and export orientation within the same region and industry significantly encourage female employment and reduce the gender wage gap. Furthermore, we show that while a large gender wage gap exists for foreign and exporting firms, it mainly reflects the difference in gender productivity. Gender wage discrimination is observed only among private nonexporting firms. Overall, our results highlight the importance of globalization in encouraging female employment and reducing gender discrimination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-266
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Development
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • Asian
  • China
  • Gender wage inequality
  • Globalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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